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Best .22 AR-15/Sig Rifle Style Plinker

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Evergreen, May 17, 2011.

  1. Evergreen

    Evergreen Well-Known Member

    I'm planning on getting rid of my Marlin 60 and I would like to get a .22 rifle platform that is closer to the rifles I will be shooting, my AR-15s. Anyhow, I am seeing that there is more and more .22 AR-style rifles available and I would be interested in purchasing one. The reason I would like to the AR-style rifles is that the ergonomics as structure of the gun will be closer to what I am use to. Also, I am not a big fan of the tube loading system of the Marlin 60, as well as it is hard to break the gun down and clean it.

    Anyway, the S&W M&P 15-22 is one on the top of my list, but I have heard some complain that it is very plastic and cheap feeling. I have also considering the SIg 522, as many say it has a much nicer construction. The Colt AR-22s I was told to stay away from. The one thing is that I may not mind a complete polymer gun for a .22 as any additional bounce or recoil will give it more like the feeling of a real AR.. I wish I had away to boost up the recoil to give it more of a true 5.56 round feel, but I know that isn't possible. However, the fact it is a .22, means there would be a lot less stress on the polymer, so is polymer so bad in this type of rifle? ALso, I would assume the M&P 15-22 is cheaper than the Sig 522.

    Does anyone konw if I could use my Acog scope or Aimpoint Micro on one of the test tactical style 22 rifles? I know that these optics are calibrated for .223/5.56, but I was wondering if there was some way I could ajust the aim of the site to compensate for the loss of energy. Anyway, I understand I may need to just go with a separate optic for this gun.
  2. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Well-Known Member

    I have the Smith AR22 and don't let the polymer fool you. I really don't understand how so many can criticize the rifle when so many other firearms that handle much higher pressure rounds are also made of polymer.

    I shopped the "tactical" .22s before I bought one. I didn't like the Colt. If I was going to get an AR22, I wanted it to work like an AR. I don't remember exactly what it was about the Colt model that I didn't like, but it had something to do with the way the bolt hold open worked. I also wasn't crazy about the pot metal construction. I'll take polymer over pot metal any day. The key point for me was that I have AR parts all over the place and the Smith model accepts standard AR trigger groups. Just drop in any AR trigger that you please and instantly have a nice trigger. I'm running a Geiselle SSA in mine right now. When I upgraded my AR15s to the SSA-E, I stuck one of the SSAs into the Smith.

    I see the polymer construction as a good thing. First, it's easy to clean. Nothing sticks to it. Second, it hasn't gotten all banged up. It still looks the same way it did when I got it. Third, the polymer's natural lubricity seems to aid in functioning. Really, over the past year, I can't remember the last time I cleaned or lubed it and it's seen a few bricks of ammo. The only things I've done is pull a bore snake through the bore whenever I thought about it.

    The downside is that it isn't super accurate. As a point of comparison, I call my 10/22 super accurate. It will shoot MOA at 100 yards with the right ammunition. Now, I really haven't tested the AR22 for absolute accuracy, but I know that I can hit clay pigeons with it at 100 yards using Federal Auto Match ammunition.

    As for the optic, the Aimpoint Micro isn't calibrated for anything. It's just another red dot. You sight it in at your chosen range and compensate from there. If you have an ACOG with some sort of BDC, then odds are that the BDC isn't going to be spot on, but you will learn to use it with the .22. I have an ACOG TA44S-10. It just has a simple circle/dot reticle and it works fine on the .22.

    I'm running a little Weaver V3 on my Smith these days. Since it's a .22, I do tend to try to shoot at stuff that's kind of small and I wanted a little magnification, but any optic that will work on an AR, will work on the .22.

    As for the Sig and other types of "tactical" .22s, I really didn't care for them. They felt nice, but I didn't like the triggers.

    Oh, and the mags for the Smith are pretty cheap. I got mine at 44mag.com for around $20 a piece.

    BTW, I'd keep the Marlin. You really won't get much for it if you sell it and they are nice rifles that have their purpose. There are times when it's nice having a rifle without all of that stuff hanging off of the bottom of it and you don't have to worry about mags.
  3. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

    Nothing wrong with the S&W but it is very light if that matters to you. Also I wouldn't take someone else's warning against the Colt/Walther .22, almost all of the negatives against it are from people who never owned one and I bet never even fired one. It's a great rifle with advantages and disadvantages just like most others. I'm very pleased with mine and have had no trouble with it as long as I stay away from Remington Golden Bullet (which the S&W hates too).

    You should have no problems mounting optics on the rail of any of these tactical .22s.
  4. Frankl03

    Frankl03 Well-Known Member

    I bought the Sig 522. Great rifle! Has a mettle upper which doesn't feel as light as the M&P. I have a Vortex Strikefire on my Sig. I think the trigger is just fine. Fit and finish on the Sig is great. Folding stock is also a nice feature.
  5. TheBeav

    TheBeav Member

    I just went through the same thing a month ago. I held all three and the M&P was the one that felt the best for me. find the one that fits you the best and go with that one. maybe see if there is anyway that you can shoot each one before you buy.
  6. kwelz

    kwelz Well-Known Member

    Having shot one of the Colt (really a Walther/Umarex) .22s I can tell you the bad reputation is well earned. I could never get through a magazine without problems.

    There are also a number of photos out there of ones that have broken.

    I would suggest the S&W. I can't say mine has been 100% but the problems have been minimal. Maybe 3 -5 stoppages in about 800 rounds.
  7. Sky

    Sky Well-Known Member

    I do not have one but look at the CMMG AR-22 or call them and get the sales speal.
  8. henschman

    henschman Well-Known Member

    If you already have or are going to have an AR-15, I would just get a dedicated upper from CMMG for it. http://cmmginc.secure-mall.com/category/Dedicated-.22LR-Uppers-184

    It will cost you less than a whole separate rifle from Sig, S&W, or Colt, and you will be pulling the exact same trigger as your center fire rifle (good for training). CMMG's have the same controls and feel just like a center fire AR. They are also much closer in weight to the real thing since they build it with a real AR-15 upper.

    I personally wouldn't get a S&W. Maybe they are OK for a casual plinker, but I have seen 4 of them go T.U. at Appleseed clinics, when they have to go through a 4-500 round count weekend (I am a Shoot Boss for that program). And the Appleseed COF isn't even that high of a round count compared to other shooting regimens like most carbine courses. The problem with all 4 of the rifles that broke is that they spit out the extractor. I wouldn't normally go dogging somebody's rifle if I had only one bad experience, but I think I have seen enough problems to establish a pattern. One of my fellow instructors has one and he sent it back in to be repaired after this happened, and they said they were giving it upgraded parts. Well, after a couple hundred rounds it did it again. Apparently they are very good about honoring their warranty and fixing problems when they happen, though.

    Most people are pretty satisfied with their Sigs, but I have heard complaints that the folding stocks are kind of wobbly. Also, the controls are different than an AR if you are wanting an accurate training rifle.

    The very cheapest option would be to get a bolt conversion for your AR. They aren't particularly reliable or durable either, though... I've seen more than one of them break on the firing line too. Plus they aren't known for being terribly accurate with a 1/9 twist barrel, and are pretty much worthless with a 1/7 barrel. For just $150 or so more, I'd go with the dedicated upper.

    And as for the ACOG, it will mount on any flat top receiver and will work just fine. Obviously the bullet drop compensator will not be accurate for it, though. If you wanted to, you could dope it and figure out at what distances you need to use which hold-over marks with your .22 ammo. The ranging function is designed to range man-sized targets from 300m on out, but you could use it to range, say, squirrel-size targets at closer ranges!
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  9. Gordon_Freeman

    Gordon_Freeman Well-Known Member

    I have experience with the Colt and the S&W. They are both great. You have to tighten the bolt speed adjust screw all the way down on the Colt to prevent failures to eject. The Colt's weight is more like an AR15. Magpul pistol grips don't fit the Colt.
    The S&W has controls more like an AR15. It also has the option of the Magpul MOE version. The S&W is extremely light.
    So after a lot of experience with both, I guess my favorite is the S&W. It just worked better out of the box.
  10. viking499

    viking499 Well-Known Member

    My only experience is with the Sig. Nice gun, solid construction and would eat anything. Runs great with Black Dog mags. Only complaint I had was that mine came with no sights, which is OK since I added a red dot on it.
  11. doubleh

    doubleh Well-Known Member

    I have experience with the Colt and S&W. Both have problems with certain brands of ammo. Stay away from the brands that give problems and they are both dependable and fun guns. The Colt seems more like the real thing to me. The S&W is much lighter and has a kind of toy feeling to it. The Colt is very accurate and the S&W that I have shot some is not quite as accurate but still very good for a semi-auto .22. I prefer the Colt.

    A friend has a Sig. I haven't shot it he has brought it along on trips to the caliche pit and it never gave him any trouble.
  12. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

    I also prefer the Colt but the S&W has a lot going for it too. I wouldn't mind having the S&W but if I were buying a second of these .22s I'd get the M16 Colt to go along with my M4 version.
  13. kimberkid

    kimberkid Well-Known Member

    I have a SiG-522 and I don't think that the stock is any more wobbly that any other folding stock and you really can't compare it to a fixed stock gun ... it doesn't have as nice a trigger as the 556 but its still much nicer than a stock AR trigger ... its otherwise the perfect trainer.

    When the SiG-556 came out I pretty much switched from AR's ... I just couldn't see an advantage to them anymore ... the 556 has a great trigger right out of the box, runs cleaner, less recoil and muzzle rise ... not to mention cheap abundant mags and you can use any stock designed for an AR ... and no annoying twang!

    Lastly, knowing how much I've spent "personalizing" AR's I had a good idea of how much the AR type trainer would end up costing me ... I put an optic on the 522 and I was done.
  14. Odd Job

    Odd Job Well-Known Member

    I also have the SIG522, mine is the classic version. It has just over 1000 rounds through it and there have been 2 failures to fire and 1 failure to eject only.
    Make sure you get one with a threaded barrel.

    One gripe with this rifle is that the bolt doesn't hold open in the traditional way after the last shot. It holds open against the mag and if you drop the mag the bolt moves forward.
    I have put a cheap Mueller reflex dot on it, and that is just fine for what I want, which is to hit head-sized targets at 25 and 50 yards, standing.
    Next purchase will be a suppressor, need to get one for 1/2 x 28 threads (it seems 1/2 x 20 is more common here in the UK).

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